Black Book: Hospitals' loyalty to their EHR dipped 6 percent

A hospital's faithfulness to its inpatient electronic health record dropped 6 percent--from 81 percent to 75 percent--between 2015 to 2016, according to a new Black Book survey.

The survey, of 3,152 current hospital EHR users and 641 IT leaders, found that the vendors that ranked first in client experience were Allscripts for medical centers over 250 beds; Cerner for community hospitals of 101-250 beds; and Evident/CPSI for small and rural hospitals.

"Allscripts, Cerner and Evident/CPSI are scored best in the four previous years among their respective hospital client categories," said Doug Brown, president of Black Book. "With the added loyalty index and the extensive survey on next generation EHR solutions, it is notable that these same vendors have again emerged as the industry top performers in usability and functionality."

In the loyalty category, the highest increases were among the EHR customers of Allscripts, Cerner, Evident/CPSI and athenahealth. In contrast, users of Epic and Meditech felt "trapped."

Key performance indicators for loyalty included  if users were renewing their current contract, purchasing more products and services from the current vendor, and advocating their peers to purchase the product they're using. One-fourth of all hospitals felt that their loyalty was based on "administrative directives" due to high capital investments rather than on actual satisfaction, usability, or the product suites available in that brand.

"[A] client whose customers have both high behavioral and attitudinal loyalty are different from those customers who are loyal because of capital investments in the EHR, but feel trapped," Brown said. "Customers who feel stuck in their EHR system can follow a downward decision making path toward eventual defection. Highly loyal customers buy more IT products and service solutions as the EHR vendor adds more sources of revenue for the client."

For example, under "replacement considerations," Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner and McKesson received overall scores of "A." NextGen and Quadramed received "D" scores.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement